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A customer receives one of the new planet bags plastic bag from cashier at Checkers. (Photo: Supplied)

Rewards for re-use of planet bags

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The Shoprite Group is rewarding customers for re-using their newly introduced planet bags in Shoprite and Checkers stores.
The bigger and stronger ‘planet’ bags retail at R3 each but every time a customer re-uses the bag, they get 50c off their grocery purchase. The bags are 70 microns strong compared to the 24 micron strength of standard 24? plastic bags, and should last for many shopping trips.
According to a statement from the retail group, changing consumer behaviour by rewarding customers for re-using bags is a critical part of its efforts to reduce plastic waste. “In 2013 the Shoprite Group became the first South African retailer to introduce recycled and recyclable plastic shopping bags in its Checkers stores. These are available at all Checkers, Shoprite and Usave stores nationally.”
In the past year, the group sold 700 million plastic bags made from 100% post-consumer recycled material thereby diverting 7 000 tons of plastic from landfill. “With an estimated
R2 million bags thrown away every minute globally, and with just 5% of people re-using their shopping bags, the Shoprite Group is committed to cleaning up the planet while creating new consumer behaviour and saving customers money,” the statement read.
The Group has a zero waste-to-landfill approach and is committed to reducing waste in its operations. To this end, it has recycled 3 225 tons of plastic and 26 859 tons of cardboard and white paper.
It has diverted 103 tons of plastic waste from landfill since February 2017 by using food-safe post-consumer waste to replace 25% of the virgin Polyethylene Terephthalate (Pet) material in the bottles, making it the first carbonated drink to contain this percentage of recycled Pet material. The Zip Cola bottle was named Recycled Product of the Year at the 2018 Petco Awards, which recognise recycling and waste management excellence in the industry. “Used recyclable material in almost 60% of the packaging used for fruit and vegetables including punnets, trays, bags, pockets and cartons. Packaging of all broccoli, cauliflower, mixed cauliflower, broccoli, baby marrows, patty pans, baby gems, squash variety and fruit packs will also switch to fully biodegradable and compostable containers from early November. This will reduce the retailer’s use of foam punnets by 3,5 million punnets per annum.”

Story: Herbert Rachuene
>>herbert.observer@gmail.com